Who is Ahmet YAKUPOĞLU?

Ahmet Yakupoğlu (1920-2016 Kütahya)

Ahmet Yakupoğlu was born in the Saray District of Kütahya in November 1920. He was the son of Hadji Halil Agha from Yakupoğulları and Şefika Hanim. Yakupoğlu, who began his first school at Dervish Pasha Primary School in 1927, had the chance to meet Süheyl Ünver, one of the professors of Istanbul University who came to Kütahya to research manuscripts at Vahid Pasha Provincial Public Library in 1941. After graduating from Kütahya High School, Yakupoğlu, who passed the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts’ examination with elegant and successful paintings, accepted Mr. Süheyl Ünver’s offer to study at the Painting Department of Feyhaman Duran Studio and graduated from there (1941-1945). While he was in Istanbul he took miniature and Islamic illumination art lectures from Prof. Süheyl Ünver, learned to play a flute, known as a Ney, from a Neyzen (Flute Player) Halil Dikmen, and took music lessons from Neyzen Nurullah Kılınç and Süleyman Erguner. After returning to Kütahya, Yakupoğlu, who was also interested in museum studies in addition to painting, played an important role in opening Vacidiye Madrasah as a museum, and managed its organization and staffing. After working for four years in this museum he completed his education as a specialist by assisting Mr. Süheyl Ünver, who worked at Istanbul University Institution of History of Medicine.

Ahmet Yakupoğlu, who used the surname “Çalışel” until 1964, donated his paintings, his library and his house in Maltepe, Kütahya to Dumlupınar University. Ahmet Yakupoğlu who was known as the “The Greatest Turkish Miniature Artist Alive” was an artist, an illuminator, and a neyzen (reed flute player). He did not hold many exhibitions and stated that his house is an exhibition itself. Ahmet Yakupoğlu, who was known for his modesty, wisdom, and his disregard for fame and glory, had succeeded in making a name for Kütahya in art and culture with his patience and determination. He lived among the people as a man of heart and devoted himself to Kütahya as “Ahmet Abi” (Brother Ahmet) and “Artist Ahmet” of Kütahya.

The Artist, who was living with his foster daughter Havva Sökmener in İzmir at that time, was brought to his hometown Kütahya from İzmir by Rectorate of Dumlupınar University after the deterioration of this health on the 30th of August 2015, at the age of 96, and was hosted by Dumlupınar University Evliya Çelebi Training and Research Hospital during his last thirteen months. Beloved Ahmet Yakupoğlu passed away on the 2nd of October, 2016 in the hospital where he was treated. Ahmet Yakupoğlu’s funeral prayer was performed by his Ney and painting student, fellow citizen Asst. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Nuri Uygun of Marmara University, Faculty of Theology. Late Yakupoğlu’s body was buried next to his mother and father in Ahi Erbasan Cemetery in Hıdırlık, as he had wished.

When Ahmet Yakupoğlu passed away on the 2nd of October, it brought the end of an era in the Turkish Painting Art. He was the last representative of Mr. Hodja Ali Rıza from Üsküdar and Dr. Süheyl Ünver’s Ecole of Professor Ordinarii. The late artist Ahmet Yakupoğlu, whose spirit will live on forever, was one of the greatest people to be immortalized. He will always live on in our hearts through his works and endowments which he bequeathed upon his passing. May he rest in peace…


“My Street and the Tiled Mosque” Miniature in 1995,Turkey Isbank Culture and Art.
Outstanding Service Award by Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
Culture and Art Grand Prize, by the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, in 2013


“Bosporus from Ahmet Yakupoğlu’s Brush” Turkish Petroleum Foundation Culture Publications, in 1983, Istanbul.

“Colorful Kütahya”, Turkish Petroleum Foundation Culture Publications, 1991, Istanbul (Turkish-English).

“Istanbul and Artist of Istanbul Ahmet Yakupoğlu in Painting” Ministry of Culture Directorate General of Fine Arts Publications, December 2002, Ankara.
He has four works published under the name of “Nasreddin Hodja with Miniatures”, Konya Metropolitan Municipality Directorate of Culture 28, 1999, Istanbul (Ottoman Turkish – Turkish – English).

‘‘Ahmet Yakupoğlu Symposium Book”, Dumlupınar University, 27-28 October 2011, Kütahya.

“Ahmet Yakupoğlu Istanbul, Ahmet Yakupoğlu Anatolia”, Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry TOKI (Housing Development Administration of Turkey) Culture Publications, November 2016, Mas Publishing House, Istanbul.